We might use technical language to make this important distinction.16 The community might say, We are not bound to an historical decision, a contingent decision about the canon, for the manner in which we use these books. The church identifies herself by specifying which books she uses. That means that the definition of what is the canon is made with and at the same time as an identification of the church itself. The church identifies itself by specifying as canonical those writings it uses in its varied activities.


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